For many of us, the prospect of our ‘retirement’ was fairly fixed from a timing perspective, recent changes to the state retirement age, combined with the scrapping of the default retirement age have changed the retirement landscape forever.
No longer will employees have to retire at the age of 65, they now have the right to continue to work longer. There are many strategies other than the stark choices of working hard in a pressured job and retiring to face the financial hardships and emptiness that this may entail.
TAEN (The Age and Employment Network) believes the future of retirement is that it will gradually cease to be a sudden event occurring on a pre-ordained date for all individuals. Instead it will become more of a transition process with individuals choosing the time and pace at which they move from working and earning to drawing on past savings and pensions accumulated over a life time.
TAEN Chief Executive, Chris Ball, commented: “Many people do want or need to continue working and earning in some way but they find the option of working fulltime often in demanding roles or under great pressure, not to their liking. They begin to see the attractions of a more relaxed pace in which knowledge and skill is more important than ‘hurry, hurry, worry, worry.’
“Part work and part retirement makes an awful lot of sense. The challenge is to make it possible by putting sensible retirement policies into place.”
“There is no reason in principle why people should not continue to work and earn in some form much later in life,” says Chris Ball. “But to be able to do that, they really must be supported with employers adopting radically different employment policies that make working later an attractive and plausible option.”
So will it be a question of reinvention rather than retirement with part-time employment, self-employment and portfolio working taking centre stage later in our working lives?
For any of these options to be viable, it is still essential that keep our skills up to date AND maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to ensure that we are marketable in the workplace in the coming decades.